How to Remove Hard Water Stains Effectively


Before we tackle how to effectively remove hard water stains, it is essential to know what it is.


What is “HARD” Water?

“Hard water” is the layman’s term for water that has high mineral content, particularly calcium and magnesium – which produces what we call limescale in the event that the “hard” water has already evaporated or dried up.

Hard water can be prevented by using water softeners before water comes in to the house.


See my illustration below:



In this modern time, there are new water softeners that come into the scene that target specific fixture in the house, specifically the shower fixture.

Another way to prevent these tough stains, generally, is to always wipe leftover water immediately. If you know how hard your water can be, do this religiously and you won’t worry about water stains and also without having to spend a penny.

Prevention is key, but it’s too late. Stains are everywhere.


Water stains can be found on almost everything that water touches. From toilet fixtures to kitchen appliances, to glass and mirrors. These can be removed in a number of ways:


For new water stains:

New water stains are those that are immediately visible after a few hours of being dry. This guide applies to both glass and stainless steel surfaces.

What you need:
      • Scrub Sponge (the one with green abrasive pad and yellow sponge stuck together – I use Scotch-brite)
      • Dry Cloth x 2
      • Cream cleanser (I use Cif brand) (home made counterpart is white vinegar)
      • Warm water



Apply cream cleanser on the stained surface. Or if you are using white vinegar, you spray on the surface and leave for at most 15 minutes.

I would like to specifically note that shower heads can be removed from the arm, so you can dip it in vinegar to clear up the eyelets of calcite residues.


Scrub the stain lightly with the cleanser using the green pad on your scrub sponge until the stain is gone. Do not overwork or press heavily as this will result to scratches on the surface. If you’re unsure about this and do not want to scratch the surface, you may opt to use the yellow side of the sponge, but this will entail longer working time.


Rinse with warm water and dry with cloth. Remember to totally dry out the surface 100% with cloth as even small amount of water leftover can leave residue on the surface. To really make sure, wipe again with another completely dry cloth.

For old water stains:

Old water stains are those that are very difficult to remove as they have already gone through the test of time. There are a lot of products out there that come out because of this tough common problem so it won’t be difficult for you to choose your weapon, but, unfortunately, there are those that are so tough that these stains become immune with these products. These are usually the surfaces that were abandoned by their owners and you as the second owner has to take over.

What you need:
      • White vinegar or descaling agent
      • Cream cleanser
      • Scrub Sponge (the one with green abrasive pad and yellow sponge stuck together – I use Scotch-brite)
      • Waterproof Sanding paper Grit#3000, #5000, and #7000
      • Glass cleaner
      • Spray bottle
      • Cloth (3x)

On glass and stainless steel, your weapon of choice will be white vinegar as this is safer than descaling agent [which most of the time contains acids that you will not imagine what it can do to your glass]. These descaling agents can be used on porcelain or ceramic surface [e.g. water closet, lavatory]. Spray concentrated white vinegar [or descaling agent] totally on the glass surface, let it work wonders for at most 15 minutes. If your descaling agent brand has a different procedure on how to do this: follow them.


Scrub with scrub sponge in a circular manner. When you have totally done this, wipe with damp cloth. This will clear up lighter stains on the surface.


Spread cream cleanser on the surface and rub using sand paper #3000… rinse with water and leave damp. Rub with #5000 sand paper then wipe with dry cloth. Do this until satisfied. If not yet satisfied, you can use #7000 with the same procedure. Remember not to rub the surface completely dry.


If glass, finish with glass cleaner and wipe with dry cloth or newspaper. If ceramic or porcelain, rinse with water, then immediately dry with microfibre cloth.



These stains can be removed, but keep in mind that before it happens again, you need to take precautions and preventions. You may invest on softeners, or you may just opt to clean up immediately after all the water. Remember also to save water. 🙂

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